If we don't understand the difference between capillary action and osmosis, it's a symptom of an education problem. If we don’t understand that plants have no intelligence to start and stop “drinking” water, it's a symptom of an education problem. If we believe a clay pot and saucer is the best way to maintain plants in containers, it's a symptom of an education problem. If we think the term “self-watering” is synonymous with sub-irrigation, it's a symptom of an education problem.
I see these beliefs expressed every day of my blogging research on the web. They lead to an opinion that our level of science education in the field of gardening and horticulture is woefully weak. Is this an anomaly peculiar to the field of horticulture or is it symptomatic of our overall education?
David Brooks wrote an op-ed piece yesterday titled The Biggest Issue and benchmarked our education decline around 1975. I’ve been an eyewitness to much of this in the field of “ornamental” horticulture, which attracted high school students to land grant colleges by the thousands in the ‘70s.